IPOH, Sept 22 — Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown expressed relief today that Malaysians authorities were finally investigating the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal that she had been working on for years.
Rewcastle-Brown, who recently published a book on the corruption scandal titled The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé, said the authorities were “the better place to get a thorough investigation”.
“A journalist has no authority at all to demand for information, we are always working from small amounts and trying to get the issues out.
“But in the end it has to be like in this case, the authorities have to take over,” she said at the launch of her book here.
Rewcastle-Brown also claimed former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyers in his corruption case would try to get her book banned.
“I’m sure Najib’s lawyers will try to gag any report, including my book now, on the basis that some kind of contempt or prejudice will be involved in the trial.
“I’m sure the judges are professional lawyers and they know how to come to a conclusion based on the evidences put before on them in the trial and not something written by a journalist,” she said.
On Thursday, Najib was prosecuted for the third time in about three months with money laundering offences allegedly involving 1MDB funds.
He was charged with four counts of offences under an anti-corruption law over almost RM2.3 billion, and 21 counts of money laundering offences arising from a smaller total sum.
Previously on July 4, Najib claimed trial to three counts of criminal breach of trust and another charge of power abuse over RM42 million of funds.
On August 8, Najib was charged with three counts of money laundering over the same RM42 million amount.
Sarawak Report had published details about an alleged transfer of US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) from the government-owned 1MDB investment fund through bank accounts held by Najib during 2014 and 2015.
Rewcastle-Brown believed more major global financial institutions and law firms linked to the 1MDB scandal will be investigated.
“I think the 1MDB will be bigger in the global scene as we could already see some of the world biggest banks are openly charged and investigated on the issue.
“It would not happen immediately, but I know there are investigations underway globally. The institutions and companies are mostly from the United States and Switzerland,” she said.